The high school and middle school students, their teachers, and their parents get opportunity to hear firsthand from current students, faculty and practicing professionals, attend a series of panel presentations detailing the various engineering disciplines, visit engineering laboratories, and also participate in many hands on projects.
Some examples of the projects in Chemical and Biological Engineering are the following:
Topic: Gold Nanoparticles for Cancer Detection
Coordinator: Prof. Mike Mason
Gold nanoparticles are synthesized in the wet chemical lab. These particles are then imaged in a dark-field microscope.
Topic: High Value Chemicals from Biomass
Coordinator: Prof. Peter van Walsum
Students use a high temperature chemical reaction to produce valuable chemicals (acetone, a common solvent in nail polish remover), from natural products such as seaweed, wood extract, forest residue.
Topic: Fabrication Of Microfluidic Devices By Soft Lithography
Coordinator: Prof. Paul Millard
This exercise introduces methods used to form structures in silicone rubber that can be used for miniaturized biochemical tests. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) molds will be fabricated in the laboratory to demonstrate the simplicity and flexibility of this technology.
Topic: Environmentally Friendly Batteries
Coordinator: Prof. Bill DeSisto
Students will create and test an environmentally friendly battery constructed from nothing but aluminum foil and charcoal.
Coordinator: Prof. David Neivandt
Students employ chemistry to control the physical properties of materials by making Slime. Elmers glue and a dilute solution of Borax are mixed together with food coloring to make brightly colored gels of slime.
Coordinator: Prof. Hemant Pendse
Students purify a dilute colored alcohol solution using a 15 foot tall glass distillation column. A computer program is used to monitor and control the process. The product is a clear product of greater than 90% purity!
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Topic: Wireless Sensor Network Experiment
Coordinator: Prof. Ali Abedi
WiSe-Net Lab researchers at UMaine’s ECE Department have been working on wireless sensors in the past five years and have recently developed several prototypes in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. In this workshop, students learn basic concepts of wireless communications with applications in space explorations, high speed internet, iPhone, Bluetooth, and WiFi. It is a hands on experience with wireless sensors that are developed for NASA’s inflatable lunar habitat to complete the workshop experience.
Topic: Light Emitting Diode Kit
Coordinator: Prof Rosemary Smith
A kit including two super bright red Light Emitting Diode (LED) is distributed to the participants. The manual included in the package provides step by step instructions for soldering the components on the board to make this night light for bicycling or walking at poorly lighted areas. A clear glass box and 9 volt battery is also included in the package. This kit provides simple hands- on activity.
Topic: Observation of Endothelial Cell Motility
Coordinator: Alireza Sevasteni
In this project participants culture live cells on a petri dish and observe their motion and morphology under a microscope.
Coordinator: Prof. Mohsen Shahinpoor
Participants play with robots in the lab and learn about biomedical field. They observe the demonstration of robotic probes that can facilitate medical surgeries in human bodies.
Topic: Structural Engineering
Coordinator: Prof. Eric Landis
Participants test the strength of columns. They spent time in the lab learning about the mechanics of structures by creating a miniature building support column (which was made with paper, scissors and tape) and testing their designs.